Taupō motocross rider Wyatt Chase will have the chance to test himself against the best when he represents New Zealand for the first time next month.
The 19-year-old will travel to the Netherlands to compete at the 2019 Motocross of Nations and he is looking forward to repaying the faith shown in him by the selectors.
"It's simply massive to race at this event. I've very excited. It's an awesome opportunity that I've been given," he said.
The event, on September 28-29, will be held on a unique course - hundreds of truck-loads of sand will be brought in to create it on the infield of the Assen TT road-race circuit. The energy-sapping sand will certainly sort the men from the boys.
"I've been putting in the hard work and I'm feeling confident. I have been riding in sand as much as I can and I will be heading down to Taikorea (near Himatangi) for some sand training sessions soon too.
"I feel the experience I have had racing in sand over the years, plus my overseas experience too will certainly help, but I'm not underestimating how tough it will be at the Motocross of Nations," Wyatt said.
A crowd of about 80,000 is expected at the event, one of the highlights on the international motocross calendar.
Wyatt knew the pressure to perform would be immense.
"It will be super gnarly at Assen and extremely challenging. But I have been putting in the work and hopefully I can get a good result for the team."
His two New Zealand teammates will be Mangakino's Maximus Purvis, who will race in the Open Class, and British-based Canterbury rider Dylan Walsh, who has the MX2 (250cc) class duties.
Like Wyatt, the other two riders are Motocross of Nations first-timers, although all three have international racing experience. Purvis raced in Australia earlier this year and Walsh currently races on the Grand Prix circuit in Europe.
Wyatt raced several rounds of the European 125cc Championships in 2016, in the United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium. He represented the North King Country Motorcycle Club at the annual Motocross of Nations fundraiser event – The Battle of the Clubs Motocross – in Taupō in June and he won the MX1 class battles that day.
On Sunday, Wyatt showed his class at the annual Mercer Sand Prix, north of Huntly. He dominated the MX2 class, finishing ahead of Tauranga's Brodie Connolly, and he produced a clean sweep in the MX1 class, finishing ahead of Hamilton's Kayne Lamont.
"I rode both classes on Sunday, just to give myself more of a workout. The more time I spend on a bike at the moment, the better for my fitness."
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